Planning and Conducting Virtual Workshops Part III: Rad Resources for Online Teaching by Jan Noga

Hello again! Jan Noga here, owner of Pathfinder Evaluation and Consulting, in Cincinnati, Ohio with some Rad Resources for making your virtual events pop.

Lesson Learned: Most resources for virtual teaching focus on using specific platforms. In the same vein, most workshop/instructional design resources focus on face to face situations rather than online. The ones provided here bridge both and will help you with instructional design and implementation of your online workshop (all available on Amazon in digital and hard copy).

Rad Resources:

The Workshop Book: How to Design and Lead Successful Workshops by Pamela Hamilton

  • This is a really nice soup to nuts book on designing and implementing workshops, including digital ones. Hamilton starts with fundamental principles and criteria that make a good workshop and then moves to tips and techniques. A good one to have in your teaching library.

5 Formatting Tips for Creating Dyslexia-Friendly E-Learning

Virtual Training Basics, 2nd edition by Cindy Huggett

  • A good resource, especially if you’re new to online teaching. I liked that Huggett focuses on the fundamental skillset that online instructors need to develop and use in virtual settings.

Instructional Story Design: Develop Stories That Train by Rance Greene

  • This is more specific to workplace training but provides a good framework for creating teaching stories.

Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation: 11 Key Concepts You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know by Sam Killerman and Meg Bolger

  • A good resource for learning about engaging a group of people in a process. It provides skill-building for just about any context: meetings, trainings, classroom learning, presentations, you name it.

Lesson Learned: It’s even easier to commit death by PowerPoint in virtual settings than it is face to face. I suffered through some real stinkers that couldn’t even be offset by the shared experience of being in the same room with other sufferers.

Rad Resources:

The three most frequently recommended DIY whiteboard animation software packages:

Doodly by Bryxen (https://www.doodly.com/)

  • This package offers monthly and annual subscriptions for both standard and enterprise users. If you’re on Facebook, Doodly will run ads offering special one-time rather than subscription pricing.

VideoScribe (https://www.videoscribe.co/en/)

  • Like Doodly, VideoScribe offers monthly and yearly subscriptions for different use levels. One-time purchasing is also available without having to wait for a special. They also offer a free trial period.

My Simple Show (https://www.mysimpleshow.com/)

  • Like the others, there are monthly and yearly subscriptions at three user levels.
  • There is also a free version with a limited set of tools and images if you have no budget for purchasing software.

Full service providers

  • If you’re looking for the full package, there are several providers including Articulate (previously the Articulate Presenter – https://articulate.com/360) who will support your design needs for training and professional development.

There are many, many other resources that are also handy, helpful, and informative. If you have questions or want more information, feel free to contact me.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Planning and Conducting Virtual Workshops Part III: Rad Resources for Online Teaching by Jan Noga”

  1. Dear Jan,

    Thank you for your time and dedication to speaking about conducting virtual workshops and the available resources to making the workshops more engaging and educational. In times when we are faced with many changes brought upon us due to COVID-19 we have had to shift to virtual training, education, and workshops. To give you a little background about me, I am a Nurse Educator on a busy post-surgical unit in a hospital setting. As you can imagine, a lot of our training involves demonstrations and hands-on skills. We have been forced to provide these week-long training virtually with the social distancing measure in place. As such, we are using Microsoft teams and projecting powerpoint presentations to our learners. While not ideal and to your point, it really can be death by PowerPoint in virtual settings, it was the only resource we had initially and the only resource we knew was “failproof” even though we are well aware it is not the best approach.

    We have created an evaluation form for each session taught and ask our learners to submit their feedbacks at the end of each day. The educators then meet to review the evaluations. We have found that learners are suggesting some of the sessions that would usually have incorporated a hands-on component have some level of demonstration for them to better understand the material. I think the DIY animation whiteboard resources you mentioned above can be beneficial for some of these sessions; especially My Simple Show as we can trial the free version and see how it works before put a case forward to the director to purchase the program for the educators. I would love to pick your brain about what you feel would be the best way to evaluate the success of these virtual sessions and how we can evaluate and see whether the use of these animated whiteboards has added value to some of the sessions? Additionally, I wanted to know if you have any additional suggestions for resources or tips that can be beneficial for me to take back to my colleagues as we try to revamp virtual learning.

    I look forward to your comments and recommendations.

    Thank you,
    Komal

  2. Emily MacMillan

    Thank you for these amazing resources. I am a virtual teacher for grades k-8, and these sources help me visualize how to bring virtual teaching to life. I especially enjoyed the value placed on sharing a story instead of the usual powerpoint. I too believe a story can go a long way and can be much more captivating. Thanks so much!

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